Recall Petitioners Plan Civil Lawsuit - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/15/07

Recall Petitioners Plan Civil Lawsuit

Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney Matt Powell will not prosecute anyone involved in the recall effort against Lubbock City Councilwoman Linda DeLeon.  

Powell made that announcement Thursday afternoon. Now, petition organizers say they're planning a civil suit.

Recall Petitioners say Powell's decision does not end their distrust in city hall, specifically at the city secretary's office. That's why they're pushing forward.

On the other hand, Mayor David Miller says this decision re-confirms his confidence in the city secretary and her staff.

"We want to pursue a civil suit," petition co-organizer Armando Gonzales said.

Gonzales claims Councilwoman DeLeon influenced the city secretary to throw out valid signatures on their recall petitions.

"I'm hoping that these groups of citizens can see the good that can become of us working together," DeLeon told NewsChannel 11 in August. 

After the second recall attempt failed, Gonzales threatened to sue the city unless Secretary Becky Garza counted the names he says are valid. Garza did not, so Gonzales took his complaint to the district attorney.

"The fact that Matt Powell had said he does not want to prosecute does not mean it's over," Gonzales said. 

He says their complaint against the city secretary will go forward.

"We need to know that in city hall, that the city elections officer is true to the office, and has complete integrity, and so fair I have not experienced that," Gonzales said. 

Mayor Miller sent NewsChannel 11 this statement: "Today's announcement re-confirms my confidence in the integrity, not only in the system itself, but most importantly in City Secretary Becky Garza and her staff. Ms. Garza conducts business in a highly professional and ethical manner."

This summer, DeLeon told NewsChannel 11 the recall petitions prevent progress.

"I think it's a distraction from what needs to be done," DeLeon said. 

Gonzales says they will pursue another recall.

"We are already making plans for the 3rd recall; we've been planning all of this time. I stated that I would recall her until 2010," Gonzales said. 

Gonzales did not give any time frame for when they might file a civil suit, or seek another recall petition. We'll keep you updated.

 

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